This week I started watching this HBO TV series “Graves” which is about a 2 time US president who suddenly have a realization that his government policies were detrimental to the well-being of his former constituents, and now is going lengths to change them without the powerful office of a president.
While watching, a phrase got stuck in my head. “If you don’t take risks, the world stops”… The world, of course, does not literally stop if we don’t risk, but it is more boring. As I look back in terms of technology in the last 20 years, the ones that are successful today are the ones that took the risk, took a big bold step to change the world, they changed the status quo.
Take for example how Apple have innovated around the humble mobile phone to the very powerful mobile computer it is today. Mobile phones today are more powerful than computers onboard the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon.
Take Google how it changed the way we search for information. It even became an acceptable verb. Or Facebook, how it changed the way we interact, making media more social.
So there is it! Yes, if you don’t take risks, your world stops and it will leave you behind. Risks are of course calculated risks and not simply jumping the gun with the hope that in the end, you ended up winning with that little advantage at the starting line.
In PeN, for all product decisions, I always ask my self these simple questions.
Are we taking a bold step?
What risks are involved?
Will it make the world better?
If an idea answers these basic questions, then we move forward in developing and enhancing the idea until it becomes innovative enough to be part of our product and service offering.
One good example is Lucky Draw, one of the early features in PeN. With Lucky Draw we want to engage our users with something that is not typical in a Social app or messaging app or communications app. At the same time, find a way to give back to our users while making it more fun. Lucky Draw has turned out to be one of the most used features in the app. It also is one of the features with most vocal users.
While engineering this feature, it checked all the corresponding boxes of questions we asked ourselves. Evolutions of Lucky Draw takes inspiration from suggestions and insights from our PeN Pals who have been so vocal in communicating their views about Lucky Draw.
‘PSTN calls’ is particularly endearing. This is the feature where we deliver calls to non-PeN users or even to a fixed line network. To do this, we work with partners and telecom service providers. In doing so, we pay interconnect fees in varying degrees of costliness.
Last year we replaced one of our service providers due to quality and fraud issues. Now, we are working to reduce the cost of interconnect while maintaining good quality of connections between a PeN Pal and non-PeN user.
Last weekend, PSTN calls were unavailable to some countries and we are working tirelessly to ensure we can bring it back online as soon as possible. The savings we obtain directly benefit you, PeN Pals since PSTN calls will use less PeNNeY. At the same time, you can keep earning those PeNNeY rewards and redeem them for something that can be useful in the real world.